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Duke knocks Tech out of ACC tournament

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Jon Scheyer scored 18 points and No. 7 Duke beat Georgia Tech 82-70 on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.

DeMarcus Nelson had 17 points, and Greg Paulus added 13 for the second-seeded Blue Devils (27-4), who blew nearly all of an early 20-point lead before rallying to advance to today's semifinal against the Boston College-Clemson winner.

Maurice Miller scored 16 points for Yellow Jackets and keyed their second-half rally that cut Duke's lead to two. Miller had eight points during the 19-2 burst that ended when Lewis Clinch's baseline jumper made it 52-50 with 131/2 minutes left.

Nelson reeled off four points to start the 19-6 run that gave the Blue Devils plenty of breathing room. They went back up by double figures to stay when Paulus' 3 from the left corner made it 64-54, held Georgia Tech to three field goals in nearly 10 minutes and led by 16 late.

Zack Peacock had 13 points, and Charlotte native Anthony Morrow added 12 for the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets (15-17), who had won five of six since a 71-58 loss to the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium and faced them in the ACC tournament for the first time since losing to Duke in the 2005 championship.

Gerald Henderson finished with 12 points, and Lance Thomas added 10 for Duke, which won its 18th straight game in Charlotte and hasn't lost here since Providence beat the Blue Devils in the second round of the 1997 NCAA tournament.

Playing for the first time since a 76-68 home loss to rival North Carolina six days earlier, Duke entered the tournament determined to prove that last year's first-round loss to North Carolina State was simply an aberration for a proud program that appeared in nine straight ACC title games from 1998-2006 and won seven league championships during that stretch.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski's team got off to a strong start and seemed to break it open early, with Taylor King's 3-pointer with 7:20 before the break giving Duke its largest lead at 36-16.